“It’s like someone streaked across the crowded field while a touchdown was in play.”

This is what my trusted advisor Theresa Reed saw in my cards when I asked her what in the hell happened after a coaching program launch flopped two years ago.

“Picture this,” she said. “The stadium is packed, the teams are at their best, the beer is ice cold and everyone’s super stoked. A touchdown’s about to happen. And then...out of the blue, some guy comes tearing out into the field, with something written on his chest and all eyes are on him. Not the spectacular feat of athletic agility.”

I’m sharing this story with you today, my entrepreneurial sisters and brothers, because I see you trying.
I see the struggles.

I see the shoulds and the musts and the have-tos that string you along, and then trip you flat out.

I’ve been tripped up by those tangled stories plenty myself.

So may my story serve you well. It’s a tender one to share.

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Like that perfect day on the metaphorical football field, I know the desire to execute the  “perfect” launch.
I was clear about what I was doing and most importantly, WHY I was offering my beloved Step into Your Starring Role program in the way I was going to be offering it. And at the price point I was offering it. There was not a whiff of dissonance.
I was working with a launch coach to make sure all bases were covered.
The plan was sound.
The email sequence sang a song that was true and told the enrolling story.
I produced a series of super useful, helpful and engaging videos.
We shared consistently across multiple platforms.
We added in some early-bird bells and whistles...but not too many. Just the right amount of enticement.
My generous and big-hearted colleagues shared my offer with delight.
My former clients who had benefited from the work ALSO sang the work’s praises, organically because it was so meaningful to them.
I even timed it so that the stars were aligned. Literally. Yep. No Mercury Retrograde was gonna get up in my grill.

It was...beautiful. And I couldn’t wait to welcome in the twenty-five gorgeous souls who I could see entering into the work, as clear as day. (Twenty-five...to start. With an eye on the next launch. And the next...)

For once, I had “done everything right.” (Can you hear at LEAST two inner critics going to town? Nice noticing. “For once” and “everything right”. Two not-so-lovely fairy tales.)

And so, with having every “i” dotted and “t” crossed and every box checked on the launch plan, I headed for a March Break junket with my family and friends to a Caribbean resort with spotty wifi. This was the most surefire way I could imagine to NOT obsess over the launch details already well-handled. My launch coach and VA were handling potential tech snafus and I was checking email once a day only should any questions come in from people wanting to register, but needing to hear something specific from me.

I came back to eight spots sold. That was it. EIGHT.

Now, please please PLEASE don’t get me wrong. The eight that stepped into the work were deeply cherished and appreciated.

But, if I would tell you the number of dollars and hours and amount of worry about if they’d show up and the counsel I sought  and the planning meetings I held and and and...well, you’d understand. This wasn’t just five months of effort. It was seven years in the making.

My very best content. At a really excellent price. With my heart and soul poured in.

Eight.

I was...lost.

I rallied the team for a post-mortem. But before we could shake ourselves off enough to gather, I reached out to Theresa.

“It’s like someone streaked across the crowded field while a touchdown was in play.”

Yes. It was exactly like that.

When we finally could bring ourselves to look at the numbers, we saw a fascinating thing. We had hundreds of people click through to the sales page, then leave the shopping cart.

This told us that people thought the entire program was $300 (even though we were clear that $300 was the deposit but that the program price was $900).

If I’m being honest, that was a bit of a table flip moment for me. People wanted 12 weeks of content, videos, access, community engagement and management, group coaching calls AND private coaching calls for $300?

Umm no.

What I ALSO came back to was about 15 emails from mavens I respected saying that they wanted to do this work, MY work, but NOT with anyone else. Private with me.

We realized that the design of the group coaching offering was far too middle of the road.

I needed an 'accessible' option (which would become the Step into Your Starring Role Playbook) and more intimate offerings (which would become the Star Tipping Intensives).

I ended up working individually with those eight (not in group) and it was magnificent. They ARE magnificent.

The Starring Role Academy evolved from there. And it is everything I've ever wanted. Truly. This nine-month program and the brilliant lights I get to convene with every day in the Green Room fill my heart beyond anything I could have imagined. Dreamt of.

For real.

That failed launch was the best thing that ever happened in my business. Evolution is like that.

Even though I’ll never know exactly what streaked across the field that day.